A Treasured Resource – the NZHS Reference Library

written by Barbara Roberts - Homeopath
RCHom, BPharm (hons), DipHom

In January we had a family holiday in Gisborne – which was the perfect excuse for me to stop in Rotorua on the way so I could explore the Homeopathic Society Library.

This place is a treasure. Found in Naturo Pharm’s Rotorua manufacturing facility, there is a quiet room with bookshelves lining the walls, and everything from old texts as well as more recently published books. There are old journals and various articles on different topics. The oldest texts are found in glass fronted cabinets, and there is a display on top of old glass vials some still with pilules inside.

Before I got lost in book heaven Natalie took me on a brief tour of Naturo Pharm, although they were not making remedies at that time (because it was morning tea) I got to peek in at the pristine lab. There was also the book shelf with all the society books for sale, easy for the staff to package up and send when an order is made.

Then it was time to go back to the library and explore.

I decided to start methodically at A and work myself round – and on the first column had found a couple of books that I pulled out to browse through. Next thing I know, half an hour had disappeared! I continued to move around, pausing on Peter Fraser’s books, checking out Paul Herscu’s Provings, finding a Gem in Roger Morrison’s Organic Chemistry book. It is an amazing place to study Materia Medica, with numerous old and new books including ones about various provings. New remedies to me include Sophora Microphylla (Kowhai), Alcoholus and Culex Mosquito. There are also shelves dedicated to Tissue Salts and Flower Essence, if you want to go more in depth into those.

Not just Materia Medica, if you would like to walk through different methods and philosophies you can. I learnt about Swedenborg philosophy and how that influenced Homeopathy, compared to Aristotle and Plato. I took a dive into Mappa Mundi with different elements as well as the Hippocratic Temperaments. Peter Fraser’s discussion of the different realms of the Earth, Sea, Underworld and Sky. Anne Vervacke’s books, in particular The Vital Approach also made me think, with both the different levels and the discussion of the different kingdoms.

Before I ran out of time, I knew I had to explore the shelves with the journals. There is everything from old Homeopathica journals to the British Homeopathic Association magazines, the US Homeopathy Today and Spectrum. Unable to choose I randomly picked up boxes and browsed through magazines. Articles on homeopathy use in the home – from flus to first aid, even snake bites – veterinary homeopathy, and in Spectrum comparisons of common remedies I know well – like Coffea Cruda – with less well known ones like Coffea Tosta.

The main thing I learnt from this trip to the library is that I needed more time to spend in the library. If only I lived closer I would spend a lot more time there! If you are close to Rotorua, or travelling through, (or just need an excuse to get away for a few days) I highly recommend a trip to the Homeopathic Society Library. You can go with an idea in mind, or just go to browse, either way you are sure to find something worth your time.


Click here for more information about the NZHS Reference Library